When I was asked to review this album, I was told that it wasn’t metal, so I was not sure what to expect. Premnath Gonesh is the keyboard player for the band Slechtvalk, and this is his first solo album/project.
Not having much information on this album, I anxiously copied the songs to my iPod and started listening. What I found, much to my surprise, was 11 tracks of beautiful and inspiring instrumental music, which I believe is mostly done on keyboards and synthesizers. So let’s step through the album 1 song at a time.
The first song, “Sounds from the Otherside”, starts out with a piano and timpani, and then some strings kick in. After listening for about 30 seconds, I find myself relaxed, and swept away to another place and another time. The song is 3:12 in length, and at the end of the song, I am wondering where the time went. Pretty much most of the song is piano, strings, keyboards, and timpani. However, the song is well composed and as I stated, took me on a journey that, when over, I immediately wanted more.
The second song on the album is titled “Hymn for the Night” and clocks in at 4:03. It starts off in similar fashion, with piano, keys, what sounds like timpani. This song has an ethereal feeling to it, with synthesized chorus style vocals in the background. Again, I’m taken on a journey as the music builds and flows, adding layers of synthesized sounds as the song continues. The song structure is beautifully scored and composed, and it’s execution is flawless. Being a fan of many types of music other than metal, I can definitely appreciate the songwriter’s approach to writing and composition as well as his performance.
Song number 3 is titled “Cry for Love” and once again starts out with minimal instrumentation with just a piano and keys (sounding possibly like a harp of some type) in the background. As with the first 2 songs on the album, this song takes me to another place and is relaxing. This time around though I feel as if I am wandering through a strange land, with sword in hand, and my bow with arrows on my back, as I journey on some type of epic quest, the purpose of which has yet to be revealed.
The 4th song, “Dark Clouds”, is an epic song that belongs on a soundtrack to a movie. The song clocks in at 3:41, and starts out with piano, keys, and timpani as most of the songs do on this album. However, the use of timpani on this track makes the song epic, with a sense of danger ahead.
Song # 5, “Tears”, clocks in at 3:31, again at the end, as with all tracks, I am wondering where the time went and I want to hear more. This song is another great “escape” from wherever I am to another place and time. This one is a bit more brooding; however, in fact, it makes me feel sad while listening. Premnath is able to create music that instills my emotions. The song does not make me cry as the name would imply, however, it does make me feel somewhat sad for what reason I cannot explain. The music itself is mostly piano with keys/synths such as strings and few other sounds.
Song #6, “Lights from Heaven”, immediately starts off with piano (this time bass clef) and synthesizer and has a different feel from the others songs so far in this journey. It starts out mysterious, and then jumps into a somewhat majestic theme. From there, it continues to build, keeping that mysterious feeling while also having that majestic theme throughout. Again, this song evokes emotion, this time as if I am seeing something for the first time, or coming up to something that is strange yet beautiful. This song is 3:18 in length, and leaves me wanting more yet once again!
Song 7, titled “Espiritu Celestial”, clocks in at 3:32. This song starts off slow, with some piano chords, then quickly jumps into a piano melody with synths in the background. Some very good triplets are played within the first minute of the song. Another instrument is added, I cannot make this out, my guess is it’s created on the synthesizer, but sounds like it’s being plucked, such as a harp or other similar instrument. It plays a medley, then falls in to support the piano medly, then switches back to playing its only medley, very nice transitions. This song doesn’t invoke emotions as some of the others do, however, it does have that feeling of being on a journey somewhere else.
The 8th song “Passion” begins with the piano at a very high treble clef with synthesizer/keyboard strings supporting the melody of the piano. I close my eyes and once again taken on a journey. I believe that is the main theme with all of the songs on this album, which I will elaborate on during my closing thoughts. “Passion” also adds in another type of instrument throughout the song, again a different sound that the harp and the instrument in “Espritu Celestial”, but again sounds as if it is being plucked. I really love the piano melody on this track. It clocks in at 2:22.
“Love Song” is the next track #9. It starts out with a harp or similar instrument being plucked, as well as synths in the background that sound like a string section from a symphony. Beautiful song! The song has a great melody, and adds another similar instrument at a much higher octave to play along and complement the original harp (NOTE: it sounds like a harp to me, but it could be something different such as a Sitar, which I haven’t heard much personally). This song is worth a listen and clocks in at 2:15.
Track #10 is titled “Angels Dance” and starts out with a flute sounding instrument. The piano then kicks in, with a great melody, along with some percussion. This is the first song with percussion other than a timpani, it sounds like a type of bongo drum, possibly a Tabala. This song is also definitely worth a listen if you like instrumental music. The song is 2:23 in length.
The last song, track #11, is titled “Songs from the Otherside” and is an acoustic version of the song with a guest performer named Andre Gonesh. This song sounds like it is performed on guitar type instruments, and contains percussion similar to “Angels Dance”. I think I like this version of the song better. There are still keys/synths in the form of strings on the song, but the piano is gone. All of the piano melodies are played this time by the guitars or Sitar. I can’t make out which as, again, I’m not familiar with the latter. Highly recommended to listen to. The song clocks in at 3:08, about 4 seconds shorter than the original version. This track is my favorite on the album.
Overall, the album has a sense of journey on it, as the name implies, the music does just that, it takes you on a journey. This album could easily be the soundtrack to a great D&D type action role-playing game, or possibly even a movie that would be about some type of journey or quest to possibly find yourself. I enjoyed listening to this entire album, and have actually listened to it quite a bit since receiving it, and has been added to my favorites playlist on my iPod. If you enjoy instrumental music, I highly recommend this album and suggest a purchase of either the CD (if you can find it) or a digital download. Once you have it, sit back and enjoy your journey!
Rating: 9.5 / 10
Written by Thrasher777 (Brian)
01. Sounds From The Otherside
02. Hymn For The night
03. Cry For love
04. Dark Clouds
06. Lights From Heaven
07. Espiritu Celestial
09. Love Song
10. The Angels Dance
11. Sounds From The Otherside (Accoustic Version Feat Andre Gonesh)
Record Label: Self-released, Feb. 2012